Māori worldview essential for Zero Carbon Bill - Youth group

By Talisa Kupenga

The youth group responsible for pushing for the Zero Carbon Act says a key focus of the Act should be to engage with iwi and recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Climate Minister James Shaw has received Gen Zero's submission.

Gen Zero's new challenge to government is to "not mess this up".

Gen Zero spokesman Victor Komarovsky says, "We ask that the Ministry of Environment officials honour this by drafting an ambitious bill, one that is comprehensive and fair, and continue to work with iwi and hapu to reflect our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi."

Political and industry group differences in addition to indifference from the public pushed the group to start the Zero Carbon Act campaign nearly two years ago.

Gen Zero Spokeswoman Laura Somerset says the bill needs to be “ambitious”.

“Ambitious in its greenhouse gas targets, ambitious in the way it plans to engage with iwi and communities, ambitious in its level of transparency- enabling industries to plan for the future."

Shaw says, "One of the things I've seen as the minister fronting the consultation over the last few months is that New Zealanders share that ambition."

Fifteen public meetings have been held around the country, gathering input for the wider strategy for NZ to become 'zero carbon' by 2050.

Shaw says, "There has been a very clear steer from Māori that they certainly want their interests to be protected as a result of the Zero Carbon Bill and I think that's perfectly reasonable."

Public consultation closes Thursday.

So far more than 9,000 submissions have been received.